- Holly Larson, RD
At Brain Balance we promote the Balance 360 System; a 5-step proprietary program that involves a foundation of clean eating and builds from there to help our students to achieve their best result. Health is a lifestyle journey. Good eating is the foundation. When people start a new eating program they are not usually looking forward to it and often try to change too many things in their daily routine to be able to stick with any of them. Just as a couch potato doesn’t become a marathon runner overnight, becoming a healthy eater takes time and practice.
When goal setting, focus on the creation of SMART goal. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Action oriented, Realistic and Time bound.
- Specific means that you’re honing in on just what you want to change. Instead of “I want to eat cleaner,” state, “I want to improve my health by eating more vegetables.”
- Measurable - if you can measure it, you can manage it. For this goal, I might say “my child will eat one serving of vegetables, each day, at lunch. I will record their veggie intake on the family calendar”
- Action orientated - what is going to be your key to success? Are you going to include your favorite veggies in your weekend shopping, chop them and package in individual baggies so that they’re ready for lunch? Make a big pot of veggie soup and pack a thermos for lunch? Have a serving of leafy greens in your usual smoothie? Create your plan of action for success with your goal.
- Realistic. Making lifestyle changes should be a small step from where you are, not a giant leap. If the last time a green vegetable landed on your child’s plate was last summer, a vegetable every day is probably too big of a change. Having a serving of veggies twice a week might be a good place to start.
- Time Bound. How long are you going to try this new challenge before you reassess? Keep in mind that your initial SMART goal is merely the first step on your wellness journey. Start with one small goal and build momentum from there. “I will have one serving of vegetables, twice a week, for the next three weeks. Then I will reassess.”
Don’t forget a reward. In exchange for success with your goal, what is going to be your child’s treat? I recommend something exciting, not too big, and not food. Maybe it is a trip to the library, a bottle of bubbles, money towards new music or clothes or something simple such as a family wide pillow fight.
Making changes is a challenge. Keep things positive and have clear, consistent communications with your family. Keep working and enjoy making progress!
To learn why our whole-child approach is the most effective way to help your child overcome their learning, behavior, and social challenges, contact us online or find a center near you.